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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 13. Somewhere-in-July. 1971

Grap youngs Aro Street Caucus

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Grap youngs Aro Street Caucus

Aro Street Caucus header

When Lady Norwood taught her son to love garden gnomes she would probably never have dreamt that one day he would be the chief gnome benefactor of Wellington City. Ony of the big events of the year when Charles was a little lad was the annual tour of Charlie's gnome garden at his mothers residence in Tinakori road. Of course that was before that area decayed and became a haunt of motor-cycle gang members, students and other menaces to society. Some hint of its former glory remains in the beautiful house and garden which used to be the residence of Mr. Massey when he was Prime Minister. It used to be the event of the year for the children of the better families of the city when they attended the annual Christmas party in those grounds. Now those grounds remain, shorn of their once beautifully kept atmosphere and polluted by dental nurses and their lovers.

Probably Lady Norwood did dream of the day when her son might become a knight like his father. In fact I remember how she used to say to friends how she though her son was the very picture of a little aristocrat. Once I remember she said to me as I brought my children into Charlie's gnome garden how his father hoped to make sure that he would become a knight by giving him his company when he died.

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I remember Sir Joseph Ward gaining his baronecy by his generosity to the British people in giving them a battleship. Sir Charles has done a favour of at least equal dimensions to the New Zealand people, so one can say he deserved what he got.

When Neville Chamberlain returned from Germany to proclaim peace in our time, no-one believed him, but of course they were ultimately proved wrong. Now the historians tell us that we are living in the greatest peace for many years. There have been less than 5 years war in the 30 years since he made his momentous prophecy. For New Zealand Mr Marshall's return from Europe heralds a similar age, not of peace but of prosperity. I remember when Sir Julius Vogel returned from Britain with the money on which our fine railway system was built. Those were the days when a journey by rail was something to talk about. It is sad to see the demise of the good British-made carriages, now replaced by those transistorised Japanese things. But I suppose progress is progress, and if the government sees fit to take the padding off the passengers and put it on the seats, they are probably right.

In fact the government - is now more right than ever. Leadership is what makes for good government. Once I used to doubt that we had leadership, but that is now beyond question, if you say that the more leaders you have the more leadership you have, which is something I have never said. But those who have said it have said it and they have something. The National party is doing us proud for leaders at the moment. I was talking to Rob Muldoon just before Jack Marshall returned from Europe, and he told me how keen he was to lead the country. In fact it was a bitter disappointment to me when his coup did not succeed. I hope he will not fade into oblivion like his great predecessor John A. Lee.